Thai Airways International (THAI) has taken delivery of its first A380, becoming the ninth airline to operate the world’s largest and most eco-efficient airliner. The aircraft was handed over to Captain Montree Jumrieng, Executive Vice President Technical, THAI, by Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Airbus, at a special ceremony in Toulouse today.
THAI has ordered six A380s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The airline has specified a premium three class layout for its fleet, seating a total of 507 passengers. All classes feature new cabin designs, with 12 private suites in First Class, 60 fully flat sleeper seats in Royal Silk Class and 435 seats in Economy. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems, communication outlets and individual power supply.
“With the A380 THAI will elevate its Royal Orchid Service to a new level,” said Montree Jumrieng, Executive Vice President Technical, THAI. “In every class we are offering a new dimension in passenger appeal, from redesigned seating to the latest entertainment systems. These features, combined with the aircraft’s quiet and spacious cabin, will truly make the THAI A380 the smoothest way to fly.”
“We are extremely proud to welcome THAI as the latest operator of the A380,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “Today THAI joins a group of world class airlines that are redefining on-board comfort while flying more efficiently. With the A380 THAI will be well placed to meet the strong growth in air travel in the Asia-Pacific region in the most cost-effective way possible.”
THAI will inaugurate commercial service with the A380 in early October on the Bangkok – Hong Kong and Bangkok – Singapore routes. As more aircraft are delivered, the airline will begin service to Frankfurt at the end of the year, followed by Tokyo and Paris early in 2013.
Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has exceeded all expectations, flying more people further at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have also made the A380 a firm favourite with passengers, resulting in higher load factors and increased profitability on all routes where the aircraft is operated.
The A380 is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop. From Bangkok this enables non-stop service with a full payload to any destination in Europe or one-stop service to anywhere in the US.